Young Software Engineer of the Year 2018 Awards

Congratulations to Keno Schwalb, a runner-up at last night’s Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards. His final year project IDS test comparison of intrusion detection systems using malware samples was shortlisted earlier in September.

The Young Software Engineer of the Year accolades are awarded to the best undergraduate software projects from students studying computer science and software engineering in Scotland.

The awards were announced at the closing event of ScotSoft, Scotland’s leading tech conference at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Previous finalists and prize winners have included, Gala Malbasic, Simone Ivan Conte, Sam Elliott,Thomas Grimes, Alistair Scott, Craig Paul, Angus MacDonald, Ben Catherall, Graeme Bell and Ian Miguel. The number of finalists is further testament to the quality of talented students graduating from the School of Computer Science at St Andrews.

David Harris-Birtill: Converge Challenge Winner 2016

Congratulations to Dr David Harris-Birtill, who was announced the winner of the Converge Challenge KickStart award at a ceremony in Edinburgh yesterday. The converge challenge competition rewards an early-stage idea or a new product. David won a cash injection prize of £3,000 to kick-start Beyond Medics – Automated Remote Pulse Oximetry, a camera based system that remotely measures patients’ vital signs.


Scottish Gaelic Awards: Virtual St Kilda

The virtual reconstruction of St Kilda developed by the Open Virtual Worlds Group, has reached the finals of Scottish Gaelic Awards in the category Gaelic as an Economic Asset. The awards highlight aspects of Gaelic culture, education and language showcasing excellent work undertaken to maintain cultural heritage. The event taking place in November will embrace a variety of traditional and virtual entertainments.The Awards will be presented at a high-quality dinner in St Andrew’s in the Square, Glasgow on November 18th. Good luck to all involved in the virtual reconstruction and museum installation.


Graham Kirby: Excellence in Teaching Award

We congratulate our Director of Teaching Dr Graham Kirby on being rewarded for championing ‘learning by doing’ at The University Teaching Awards held in Parliament Hall.

The School is rated highly for student satisfaction, which echoes the great teaching and strong student staff community sustained here in Computer Science. Graham is pictured below participating in some recent School activities.


Images courtesy of me (apologies in advance).

Finalist in Scottish Software Engineer of the Year

Congratulations to St Andrews student Simone Ivan Conte, who has been selected as one of the four finalists in the Young Software Engineer of the Year Award 2014.

Simone’s project (pictured below) involved creating a haptic device and API for displaying vector graphics (e.g., trees and graphs) for people with visual disabilities. According to his Senior Honours dissertation supervisor, Dr. Miguel Nacenta

this work demonstrates a lot of ingenuity and has a large potential impact.


The Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards are given for the best undergraduate software projects completed by students studying computer science and software engineering in Scotland.

Simone graduated in Computer Science from St Andrews earlier this year and is currently working for Adobe on a summer internship. In September he will start his doctoral studies, funded by Adobe, with Professor Alan Dearle at St Andrews.

Previous finalists and prize winners have included Thomas Grimes, Alistair Scott, Craig Paul, Angus MacDonald, Ben Catherall and Graeme Bell. Further testament to the quality of talented students graduating from the School of Computer Science.

The winners of this year’s award will be revealed on 2nd October 2014! Fingers crossed.

Dr. Per Ola Kristensson awarded RSE/Makdougall Brisbane Medal

In recognition of academic excellence for his outstanding research work and entrepreneurialism Dr. Per Ola Kristensson is amongst the most outstanding academic talent documented by The Royal Society in their Royal Prizewinners list for 2014, announced today. The Prize was founded in 1855 by Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, for particular distinction in the promotion of scientific research.

In 2013 Per Ola Kristensson was named as one of the people most likely to change the world by the prestigious MIT Technology Review’s list of Innovators under 35. Described as visionary he appears at number 11 in IMPACT 100.


People like Per Ola Kristensson are the shapers of the future where social interaction and new technology are concerned.

His research interconnects human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence and machine learning allowing intelligent interactive systems to be developed, that enable people to be more creative, expressive and satisfied in their daily lives. Dr. Kristensson also works in the areas of multi-display systems, eye-tracking systems, and crowdsourcing and human computation.

He is a Lecturer in the School of Computer Science, a member of the SACHI research group and is also a Member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland.

Professor Aaron Quigley, Chair of HCI in the School of Computer Science responded:

We are all delighted at the rightful recognition of Per Ola and his world-leading achievements. Last year he was the only UK member of the TR35, the most prestigious annual list published by MIT Technology Review. And now the Royal Society of Edinburgh has recognised his research. Per Ola is an excellent colleague who brings real enthusiasm, insight and dedication to whatever he does. Be it supervising an honours student, teaching, leadership in SICSA or working with industry. His work in intelligent interactive systems is laying the ground work for how the world will interact with computation in the future.

St Andrews Programming Competition 2014

Event details

  • When: 7th April 2014 14:00 - 17:00
  • Where: Cole 0.35 - Subhons Lab


The St Andrews Programming Competition 2014 is a friendly programming contest organised by the School of Computer Science for students belonging to all levels, coming from any background with any amount of programming experience. Team up with up to 3 members per team, compete for 3 hours by solving a set of programming problems using your favourite programming language and win £200 worth of prizes.

Generally, programming competitions are aimed at the best programmers, this is a first-of-its-kind competition where students from all levels with any amount of programming experience stand a chance to win a prize. Another unique aspect of this competition is that it has also open to members of staff from the School of Computer Science, making this a fun experience and a bonding opportunity for staff and students.

Students can use this opportunity gain valuable exposure to solving quick algorithmic programming questions – of the style that may come up in job interviews, where candidates are required to solve problems on the fly while being observed. Such interview practices are common among many companies nowadays including Google.

For more details and registration visit:
Twitter: @stapc14

If you have any questions, please email Shyam on

The event, prizes and refreshments will be sponsored by AetherStore.

AetherStore_square color logo jpg

Frotscher Medal Runner-Up

Juliana Bowles, the School Disability Coordinator, was runner-up for the new Frotscher Helping Hands Medal for Excellence in Supporting Students. This recognises her selfless commitment to providing support to students at St Andrews.

In the current academic year, we have been very happy to welcome our first totally blind student, Saad Attieh. Juliana has coordinated and largely provided our support for Saad’s studies in Computer Science. She made contact with his teachers in Edinburgh, learned about Braille (including the different ways of representing mathematics in Braille) and in depth design and preparation of teaching materials for accessibility. She has researched, selected and commissioned a range of equipment for preparing accessible diagrams and handouts. She has checked over lecture slides, coursework and exams, nagged other lecturers, including professors, to get their slides ready in time, and attended many lectures to check that the lecturers’ delivery is appropriate.

We hope to be welcoming another partially sighted student in 2013-14.

The photo shows Juliana with the Proctor, Professor Lorna Milne, at the award ceremony in the MUSA galleries (with a slightly alarming painting as backdrop).

Juliana Bowles with the Proctor at the Frotscher Medal Award Ceremony

Juliana Bowles with the Proctor at the Frotscher Medal Award Ceremony

Best Student Paper Award for iSCAN

Congratulations to Per Ola and colleagues Ha Trinh, Annalu Waller, Keith Vertanen and Vicki L. Hanson. Their paper “iSCAN: a phoneme-based predictive communication aid for nonspeaking individuals” received the ACM SIGACCESS Best Student Paper Award at the 14th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2012) earlier this year.

Professor Ian Sommerville receives teaching awards

Professor Ian Sommerville has been honoured for his work in software engineering education.

The distinguished researcher has received the 2011 SIGSOFT Influential Educator award from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and the 2011 Outstanding Educator award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

The awards recognise Professor Sommerville’s work in developing software engineering education and in helping establish The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance Graduate Academy in Scotland.

Prof Ian Sommerville

See the official University of St Andrews press release for more information